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Molly and Me

Trusty dog-sitter, Juliet Austin, gads about town with her pampered pooch, Molly, enjoying the adventures of Grand Cayman�s Camana Bay.

When a friend called begging me to dog-sit her cute-as-a-button Miniature Dachshund, Molly, one mention of her ‘des-res’ Camana Bay apartment sealed the deal. Visions abounded: Molly and me mooching round The Market; Molly and me pottering on The Paseo; Molly and me communing on The Crescent. Imagine, I thought, a weekend to myself, unfettered by the responsibilities of motherhood and marriage. Just me, my dawg and… All. Those. Shops. Herein lies the diary of Juliet Austin, aged 42¾, canine companion and sophisticated girl about town.


Day 1: (Uncharitable thoughts: 64; Irresponsible acts: 32; Mojitos: 7; Ice-creams: 4.)

Dog(3 am) Received panic-stricken BBM from friend – her dog-sitter has been whisked away for impromptu weekend-à-deux (oh, for the heady days of new love). Could I help out as she’s heading out of town? Tempted me with stay at her snazzy apartment in The Terraces. In the absence of better proposition from hubby (here’s to seventeen years of married bliss), I agreed. Break out the Veuve, Camana Bay, Mama is coming to town!

(9:07 am) No! Read riot act by my Editor about late assignment (the one I haven’t started). Stressed to the max and in danger of spontaneous combustion. How will I manage work in between body massage and makeup session I just booked? Would be unconscionable to cancel now. (Deep breaths…)

(10:17 am) Skipped off work a tad early – call it Happy Hour. Couldn’t find Benedictine Monk Chanting CD so sang along to Sometimes It’s Hard to be a Woman on way home to pack. Was okay ‘til I found chocolates and… wait for it… a Camana Bay Gift Card awaiting me. How could I doubt my man? Am an undeserving scoundrel – a bottom dweller. Ate entire box of chocs (saved orange creams to share. Call me a saint).

(12:02 pm) Decided self-recrimination is counterproductive (plus makes eyes red and puffy). Booked romantic table for two at Ortanique restaurant on The Crescent. Hubby can come by boat (will soften the blow of my girls’ only weekend). Will look and feel so divine, he won’t be able to stay angry long.


(1:11 pm) Hot tamale! Am smitten with glamorous bachelorette pad – very sleek, I must say. Get this – comes with all the bells and whistles down to a designer saltshaker. Was given orientation by Sue (Manager), including glimpse of dreamy pool oasis on second floor. (Night swim? Don’t mind if I do!) Am writing from the haven of my oversized verandah with new bff, Molly, enjoying sublime frozen yoghurt from Ginger Lily and attempting to work to soporific flow of fountains and tinkling of distant piano. Never want to leave. Love people watching – just saw woman in foxy frock strutting her stuff. Think Molly needs an outing… Who knows, may just happen to pass clothes’ shop by some serendipitous twist of fate. Feel very cosmopolitan.


(6:19 pm) Could I be more Zenned out? Rode down in the elevator (no, really!) and ambled over to Eclipse Hair Design & Day Spa (en route, signed up for Thai cooking demo tomorrow at Bon Vivant – designer kitchenware shop). Masseuse kneaded my poor knotted shoulders to dulcet falsetto of Bee Gees’ How Deep is Your Love? Was cruelly reminded of imminent deadline by flashing Blackberry. Purchased emergency Stress Less aromatherapy oils. Strolled through serene Canella Court and took quick sniff before arriving at Le Visage makeup session with the lovely Sharron. Re-energised by the Town Centre vibe – everywhere filling up with revellers. Opted for smouldering Adele-eyes for hot dinner date. Felt like film star until perfect stranger with unblemished skin thrust her fav skincare product at me. Hmph! Invested in a few Elemis essentials. Have committed to cleanse, tone and moisturise (CTM) with religious zeal. Celebrated newfound resolve with mango ice-cream from Häagen-Dazs (need my daily 5) purchased with nifty Camana Bay Gift Card. Fluttered sensational eyelash extensions at security guard, who dutifully swiped my FOB (essential oils – fingers slippery as eels) and let me into building. Molly unable to contain her glee at my fabulous new self. Quick promenade required. Couldn’t help but notice Spanx in shop downstairs (stairs – so last year). Note to self: investigate installing elevator at home… Ignored PING from Editor.


(8:37 pm) Pondered Ortanique’s eclectic menu while imbibing pre-dinner mojitos then supped on succulent sea scallops the size of small continents to the positive vibrations of right honourable, Robert Nesta Marley. Hubby ordered fresh Catch of the Day (obviously trying to tell me something) – he’s so romantic. Dined under stars overlooking tiny island lagoon in The Harbour – all twinkling fairy lights, hanging lanterns and languishing palms. Looked mighty fine (if I do say so myself) in sassy new dress. Took lovers’ stroll along boardwalk encircling waterfront and watched children frolicking in fountains. Happened upon brilliant open-air piano and violin concert. Whole place buzzing. Lay out on grassy lawns of The Crescent and drank espressos, accompanied by swaying Royal Palms and soulful strains of jazz and blues wafting in balmy Caribbean skies. All going swimmingly until I came clean about solo weekend, whereupon atmosphere turned decidedly chilly (knew I should have bought chic lambskin UGG bolero from NKY shop). Tried salvaging evening with late night movie (the cinema is just round the corner). Suffered through shoot ‘em up starring Mark Wahlberg (he’ll always be Marky Mark to me). Nice abs (not that I was looking). Stood on dockside watching hubby’s boat disappear down the channel. Moment of pathos interrupted by PING. Might just pop over to Häagen-Dazs to cheer myself up.

Day 2: (CTM: 14; Thoughts about MM’s abs: 29; Uncharitable thoughts: 34; Irresponsible acts: 18)

Camana_bay_tower(4:36 am) Have felt better. Was enjoying wonderful dream about chiselled abs when felt something licking my toes. Thankfully only Molly. Tried to move, but unable to on account of excruciating pain in mid section. Oh sweet Lord! What in the world made me think a late night workout at Anytime Fitness, the 24-hour gym, was a good idea? Going back to sleep. Hopefully just a nightmare.

(6:58 am) Managed excursion to Café del Sol for lifesaving caffeine fix (rapture!). Recuperated in hammock on The Island while Molly wrestled coconut twice her size. (Sadly reminiscent of me putting on Spanx.) Watched Town awaken, led by groggy, coffee-clutching parents on early shift with their pint-sized explorers. Decided to climb Observation Tower but discouraged when overtaken by Sporty-Spice octogenarian.

(11:02 am) Have turned over new leaf. Cleansed, toned and moisturised then ordered fresh fruit salad at Black Trumpet Gourmet Delicatessen washed down by kambucha with wheatgrass shot from Jessie’s Juice Bar (ta-ta terrible toxins). Resolved to stop fantasising about Marky Mark’s abs (v. immature). Instead, will concentrate on becoming hostess with the most-ess and organise soirée to showcase newly acquired Thai cooking prowess. (Oh – and finish start that article.)


Frosted-Robin(1:27 pm) Mother-of-the-Year, here I come. Met family at the Camana Bay private beach, sporting sexy Sand Angels swimsuit with remarkably engineered wobbly-bits-minimiser. Molly - a big hit. Ate picnic luncheon, à la Black Trumpet and clandestinely gave hubby one of their cookies with ‘Secret Crush’ iced on it, as well as a hip Island Company shirt. Lounged in exclusive elevated pavilion while kids played beach volleyball. Spied Paul Allen’s luxury mega-yacht offshore. Struck wistful Baywatch pose just in case. Drifted back via Camana Way amid plethora of flora and fauna – tamarind-guzzling parrots, Yellowtail butterflies, orchids, primeval-looking volcanic rock and my favourite… the Devil’s Potato. Was channelling David Attenborough when illusion rudely shattered by ear splitting rooster crow. Must have been delirious from sun – barely recall putting exquisite ruby earrings on credit card at The Mansion. Salesman told me they brought out my eyes….


(5:46 pm) Close call! Briefly went off rails vis-à-vis new health regime. Spotted Editor living highlife at Abacus, so ducked into first shop, which happened to be Frosted Robin Cupcakes. Held hostage as she downed bottomless glass of cool Chardonnay (doesn’t she have work to do?). Churlish not to partake in a few sugar-coated sensations. Visited pretty Lily Pulitzer store once coast was clear. Shift dress a little tight; bought cute silver and turquoise sandals instead. Is it so wrong to like pretty things? Might take myself off for luxury sunset cruise on 29’ Cayman Evasion (courtesy of Cayman Luxury Charters) to clear head and reflect on life direction. No bubbly – just quiet contemplation. Am a rock.


Day 3: (CTM: 3; Thoughts about MM’s abs: just the one – okay… maybe two; strokes of genius: endless!)

(10:06 am) OMG! Can’t find my car. Eyes blinded by hot tears of anguish. Am bereft at leaving my new uptown life and bcc (best canine companion), Molly. Think I can actually feel heart breaking. Do people really die of broken hearts? Am too young to die! Must be karma. (CAR-ma? Oh, the irony!) Punishment for my sordid web of lies; for deserting hubby….

(10:08 am) Fa-la-la! Problem solved. Retrieved car from underground parking with stalwart support of security guard (my, these eyelash extensions are handy). Bit over-emotional – must have been those five glasses of bubbly last night. Convinced him that I was not the hot mess I appeared, but sane, responsible journalist on assignment, writing lifestyle piece on Camana Bay, and… BAM! Inspiration struck. Raced back to Cassia Court, and wrote like woman possessed. Editor will be putty in my hands.

(9:36 pm) Flushed with the glow of success. Hopefully, Editor will be so awed by my beyond the box thinking she’ll award me bonus (to pay off those ruby earrings). Off to read my new Books & Books purchase, GQ’s Hottest Men of 2012… all in the name of research, naturally.


This is Juliet Austin, girl about town, signing off.

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